Pump the Permian! Exxon boosting spending to $30 billion. Texas dirt is emerging as Exxon Mobil Corp.’s best bet to arrest production declines that are threatening its position as the world’s most valuable listed oil company. Exxon could become the most active driller in the Texas and New Mexico basin by year’s end, with a plan for at least 30 operating rigs. Now, Concho Resources Inc. is the most active driller with 26 rigs, if its planned $8 billion acquisition of RSP Permian Inc. is included, according to RS Energy Group. Chief Executive Officer Darren Woods has Exxon boosting spending to more than $30 billion a year by the mid-2020s, with major projects planned worldwide. But its production lag in the meantime has been difficult. Exxon’s first-quarter output was the worst since 1999, spurring a 3.8 percent share drop on Friday. The company’s shale business has been a small slice of the pie for the eight years but is now its fastest-turnaround major project.
Comments on Ambler Road released. The Bureau of Land Management received thousands of public comments on the controversial proposed Ambler Road during the scoping period for the project, which ended in January. The BLM released a summary of those comments this week. The road, which is proposed by the state, would begin at the Dalton Highway and run more than 200 miles west, along the southern edge of the Brooks Range. Proponents say it’s needed to develop the Ambler mining district. Tim La Marr with BLM said the agency received input from people on all sides of the issue. Click here to read comments.
From today’s Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:
DOES ZINKE CARE ABOUT CLOSING THE LARGEST COAL PLANT IN THE WEST? Groups who sued Tuesday to keep the giant Navajo Generating Station coal plant in Arizona from closing say Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has grown timid since his early support.
Part of the reason for the lawsuit is to coax the Interior Department, which owns a 25 percent stake in the plant, to come to its defense and keep it open.
No place for coal: The Hopi, the United Mineworkers, and coal firm Peabody sued the Central Arizona Water Conservation District for its plans to no longer buy power from the coal plant in favor of natural gas and renewable energy.
Zinke has authority: Plaintiffs believe Zinke has become lax in defending the plant when he has clear legal authority to do so.
John Shadegg, former congressman and a lawyer for the mineworkers, wants Zinke to understand that the government has huge authority on who uses the power, so the coal plant’s customer base is not completely eroded.
Coaxing Zinke: The plaintiffs hope Zinke will read the lawsuit, see the role he plays, and act to save the plant, advisers say.
Closer look at the law: “I believe the secretary of Interior needs to look very close at this issue, and I believe he has much greater legal authority to protect the Hopi and Navajo people, whose economy is linked to the plant, than he realizes,” Shadegg told John.
Early support: Zinke had facilitated the plant’s owners to negotiate a way to keep the plant open last year. Most of its owners had wanted to close the plant by the end of next year. Zinke managed to keep that ball from dropping, but he has been quiet about the campaign by the plant’s customers to shutter it.
The Interior Department had not replied to a request for comment.
Keeping Trump’s promise to coal: The coal plant, which was created by an act of Congress to pump water into Arizona, had been considered a symbol of President Trump’s pledge to keep coal workers employed. Zinke’s early involvement was a testament to that. But now the administration’s commitment to NGS may be failing, according to the plaintiffs in the case.
Tweet of the Day –@ Secretary Perry:
“Started the day in Kodiak, Alaska with Kodiak Electric Association which generates 98% of the island’s electricity from renewable energy.” #NewEnergyRealism
Pump the Permian: Exxon’s Effort to Boost Output
Bloomberg, Kevin Crowley, April 27, 2018
BLM releases summary of public comments on Ambler Road
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Ravenna Koenig, May 2, 2018